First Time Guests Want to “Fit In” With Everyone Else

On Tuesday I said that an unchurched first time guest wants at least three things…

1. To fit in with everyone else attending
2. To be anonymous
3. To get more information as they are ready

Let’s talk about #1 today. A first time guest wants to fit in with everyone else attending. This means that you want to:

  • Provide directions for what to do and when to do it. This means that you want to provide clear directions both in signage and from the stage, so that a first time guest doesn’t ever feel lost or confused.

One big area where you should provide direction for newcomers is in the worship service itself. This means you give instructions on when to ‘stand up’ and when to ‘bow your head and pray’ (beware of prayers that just start and leave newcomers standing with heads up while everyone else bows their hands).

In general, just a few small instructions throughout the service can help newcomers fit in. This not only leads to a great first time experience but highly increases the likelihood they will return. And that’s the first goal of assimilation: to turn a first time guest into second time guest.

Action step: think through your entire worship service and ask, “Am I giving my first time guests enough instructions so they can ‘fit in’ with everyone else.” Next, think through signage from the parking lot to children areas to the main auditorium. Can people figure out where to go without having to ask someone?

Tomorrow we’ll discuss why first time guests want to remain anonymous.


P.S. For a complete treatment of my full assimilation system (that goes way beyond the Fusion Book or the basic seminar) check out The Assimilation Intensive by clicking here.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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